Pasture feed on offer (FOO) and growth rate maps for WA

Page last updated: Monday, 24 June 2019 - 3:02pm

The Pastures from Space service generates maps to estimate pasture feed on offer (FOO) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare, and plant (pasture and crop) growth rates (PGR) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare per day, for the south-west of Western Australia on a weekly basis.

Pastures from Space utilises satellite imagery to estimate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index or NDVI. On-ground measurements over a number of sites and years has calibrated the satellite NDVI measurement to the growth rate and FOO of pastures. The PGR calculation also uses soil and weather inputs.

In late 2019, an updated Pastures from Space website will be launched and will cover southern Australia and provide access to historical data, shire detail and detailed maps for FOO and PGR via CSIRO. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working with CSIRO and Landgate to host the WA agricultural area maps and will be developing tools to complement the use of these resources. 

Visit the Pastures from Space website

Using the Pastures from Space map

  1. In the 'Find address or place' box - enter your PIC (Property Identification Code), postcode or shire to zoom to the location of interest.
  2. The 'i' icon will show the legend for both FOO and PGR pixels.
  3. The 'Layers' icon allows you to turn on layers of information. You can select either PGR or FOO or Archived images.  The top most selected category will show the latest image. Check the date of the image by expanding the menu or to select a different image.
  4. The '...' icon to the right of the layer icon allows you to select 'transparency' and use the slider to change the transparency of the image so that the base photography is more visible.

The FOO and PGR information is presented at a scale of 6.25ha, which is the minimum presently available, and at the property (or farm) level. Most paddocks will be larger than 6.25ha, so you will need to select the 6.25ha pixel that best represents the paddock.

Over time we will build the capability to see information from past years and information about the average as well as percentiles.

The FOO and PGR information can be used in feed budgeting calculations. The trend over time is also important to indicate if the livestock stocking density matches pasture growth. You can also calibrate yourself if there is a range in the FOO from pixel to pixel.   

The default image will be the latest FOO image with the date corresponding to the begining of the period.  For example, 15 May 2019 refers to the period starting 15 May and ending 21 May

Access the latest Pastures from Space FOO and PGR images

About Pastures from Space

Pastures from Space is a partnership between CSIRO, DPIRD and Landgate, and started providing estimates of PGR and FOO in 2002. For more information on how the images are generated and the research supporting this project, please visit the Understanding Pastures from Space page.

Static FOO and PGR images for the break of season 2019

For greater resolution highlight the map and right click to save onto your device. Open the image file and zoom in to the area of interest. Each pixel is 250m by 250m or 6.25ha. You can estimate your FOO and PGR from the images and then use this information in the supplementary feed calculator. Alternatively, download the PDF file at right for more detail.

Pasture Growth Rates (PGR) and Feed on Offer (FOO) 2019

Table 1 Plant growth rate (PGR pasture and crop) in kilograms of dry matter per hectare per day (Kg DM/ha/day); and feed on offer (FOO) in kilograms of dry matter per hectare (Kg DM/ha)
Week beginning PGR (Kg DM/ha/day) FOO (Kg DM/ha)
15 May 2019 south west FOO 21 May 2019 FOO 21 May 2019
8 May 2019 south west PGR 14 May 2019 south west FOO 14 May 2019
1 May 2019 south west PGR 9 May 2019 south west FOO 9 May 2019
24 April 2019 right click on image to open in more detail  PGR 30 April 2019 right click on image to open in more detail FOO 30 April 2019
17 April 2019 south west PGR 23 April 2019 south west FOO 23 April 2019
10 April 2019 south west PGR 16 April 2019 south west FOO 16 April 2019
3 April 2019 south west PGR 9 April 2019 south west FOO 9 April 2019
27 March 2019
south west PGR 27 March 2019 south west FOO 27 March 2019

* images supplied and processed by Landgate

Key FOO and PGRs for managing sheep

Go to the Seasonal 2019 webpage for more information on how the season is unfolding.

The target FOO to reach before stopping supplementary feeding for sheep is approximately 700kgs of dry matter per hectare, and for cattle is approximately 800kgs of dry matter per hectare. This assumes that sheep pastures are clover based and cattle pastures are more grass based.

The PGR needs to be greater than the rate of pasture removal by grazing animals, otherwise FOO will decrease and further reduce growth rate. See Grazing annual pastures in winter and spring for tactics in managing pasture to manipulate the quality and quantity of pasture as well as the composition, increasing animal production efficiency and achieving production targets, reducing insect populations, and ensuring pasture persistence. 

See Annual pasture quality and quantity for more information about FOO and PGR. As the growing season ends, vegetative groundcover needs to remain above 50% to protect the soil from wind erosion.

Contact information

Danny Roberts
+61 (0)8 9892 8535
Perry Dolling
+61 (0)8 9821 3261
Mandy Curnow
+61 (0)8 9892 8422